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Wednesday's papers: Stranded Afghans, free school breakfast and strong winds

The United States' exit from Afghanistan continues to dominate Finnish headlines on Wednesday.

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Helsinki will pilot a free breakfast programme in four schools. Image: Marja Väänänen / Yle
Yle News

Helsingin Sanomat reports that Finland is not evacuating Afghan security workers and bodyguards who protected Finnish politicians, diplomats and the embassy itself, because they were not directly employed by the Finnish state.

Finland had purchased security services from a Finnish-owned Afghan security contractor, which supplied security staff to the embassy in Kabul. The arrangement means that the 57 workers in question were not directly employed by Finland and therefore did not make it on to evacuation lists.

Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto (Green) had previously promised that Finland would help locally hired staff and their families relocate to Finland. HS reports that Haavisto himself had visited Afghanistan and been protected by the security guards now left under Taliban rule.

Last Sunday the Foreign Ministry said Finland was committing to relocating a total of 170 locally recruited Afghans working at the embassy in Kabul.

A Finnish man familiar with the contractor said Haavisto had responded to concerns via text message saying, "I’ve relayed all of the information to civil servants, but the situation in Kabul is very difficult right now."

Free school breakfasts

The capital is launching a free breakfast pilot scheme in four schools with more than 500 pupils. On Tuesday Helsinki's Education Committee greenlighted the motion to allocate funds for the breakfast pilot in next year's budget.

The pilot was put forward by city councillor Mai Kivelä (Left).

"We know that kids who don't eat breakfast at home are more restless than those who do. We see this as a preventative measure," she said.

The idea of a universal school breakfast programme in the capital is expected to raise debate, writes Swedish-language daily Hufvudstadsbladet, reporting that serving a simple breakfast of just oatmeal in all schools would cost the city 4.6 million euros annually.

Windy Wednesday

Parts of Finland will see wind gusts of up to 20 metres per second, according to the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI). The agency has issued wind warnings for most land and sea areas, reports Ilta-Sanomat.

Southern parts of the country as well as the coastline will see the strongest gusts. South Savo and North Karelia can expect winds to reach 15 metres per second.

Heavy rain and cool, windy weather is expected over the next couple of days.

The tabloid also reports of a "blue" forecast in the coming weeks as temperatures are expected to be a few degrees below end of August averages.

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